TOKYO, Japan - Several people in Japan marked the seventh anniversary of tsunami that left 18,000 people dead.
In Tokyo, people lit candles, offered flowers and remembers those they had lost in the deadly disaster.
On Sunday, marking the seventh anniversary of the tsunami on the northeast coast, which triggered a nuclear disaster that turned nearby communities into ghost towns, residents gathered along the coast to remember the tragedy.
In the incident, sirens blared the moment the magnitude 9.0 offshore earthquake struck on March 11, 2011, setting off a massive tsunami.
Sea walls crashed, buildings, cars and entire neighborhoods were washed away as the tsunami swept inland.
It also knocked out power at the seaside Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, causing partial meltdowns in three reactors.
On Sunday, at the official ceremony in Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that reconstruction is making steady progress, but over 70,000 people are still displaced and many have no prospect of returning to their homes.
Further, Prince Akishino, the second son of Japanese Emperor Akihito, expressed hope that the tsunami would raise awareness and help prevent or mitigate damage from future natural disasters.
He said in a statement, “It is my earnest hope... that we hand down the knowledge to future generations in order to protect many people from the dangers of disasters.”
Several people observed a moment of silence and made offerings at an altar set up in Hibiya Park in central Tokyo.